Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Harvesting love with a wheelchair-accessible winepress

Photo: LOTEM - Making Nature Accessible 
With Sukkot just a couple of days away, we share a glimpse into a special type of harvest in Israel. During the summer grape-gathering season there, being in a wheelchair is no obstacle to getting in on the fun of pressing grapes. That's thanks to a custom-built accessible winepress at Jewish National Fund partner site LOTEM - Making Nature Accessible, which offers educational outdoor activities for children and adults with special needs in Emek HaShalom, the Valley of Peace.

The press is wide enough for wheelchairs to enter, and ropes hang from the roof for those who may not need a wheelchair, but require extra support standing. Participants press the grapes with their bare feet or wheelchair wheels and the juice slides into a pit. It is then collected in a large bowl, boiled, and enjoyed by all.